Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Days 67 - 69: Acadia National Park, Maine

When we started planning this trip more than 2 years ago, we bought a big map of the US and put pins on all the places we wanted to go.  Most of the obvious destinations were U.S. National Parks.  The pins clustered on the western half of the map since most of our national parks are out west and so the western route of the trip pretty much planned itself, we just connected the dots.

There's only a handful of national parks in the east and the furthest flung of those (especially from Texas) is Acadia.  On our map was this one little pin all by itself way up in Maine seemingly on the way to nowhere.  Of course, as we write this, we're in Nova Scotia so it was on the way to somewhere but we'll get to that in due time...

It didn't really dawn on me that getting to Acadia would be such a milestone for us until I saw this sign and involuntarily smiled.  I guess all those months of seeing that little lonely pin had seeped into my subconscious.

And here we are atop Cadillac Mountain, the highest point in the park, looking towards the Atlantic Ocean!

Sand Beach, the only "sand" beach in the park.  The rest are rocky.  Way too cold for a swim unfortunately.

The town of Bar Harbor (pronounced "Bah Hahbah") is adjacent to the national park and has this great city park where we could run Kipper.  Bar Harbor is right out of a fairy tale or something.

They call this "the Beehive".  Zoom in and you'll see hikers climbing it.

Ladder rungs and other handholds were installed to help hikers up to the top. We've been on other hikes where this assistance would've been very much appreciated (I'm looking at you, Petit Piton!).

A little nerve racking if you have any issues with heights...

But the view is totally worth it!

After a day of hiking, it's tradition to go to the Jordan House for tea and popovers, which are sort of a muffin meets croissant thing.  Delicious with butter and jam, mmmm.

We went down to the tidal pools at sunset to try to find some starfish. No starfish, but we did see some pretty flowers.

Just because we live in a van doesn't mean we're not hygienic, although sometimes it can be a challenge.  National parks don't typically provide showers in their bathrooms so I improvised a sink and washed my hair.

The Rockefeller's carriage road. When he had a place up here, he could see that automobiles were bringing noise and pollution, so he had these carriage roads built so he could avoid the car congestion. The roads are still maintained and open for hikers, bikers, and doggies.

The carriage roads sometimes go under the car road.  Rockefeller built all these fantastic granite bridges too.

Eagle Lake. This beautiful lake is a water supply for the area, and is lucky enough to be circled by a carriage road!

We love Acadia!

Next, our first foray into Canadia...

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